court shorthand
With our society at the most litigious time during any point in its history, court reporters are more in demand than ever. Court reporters provide a valuable service to the legal community, creating an official written record of everything that is spoken during trials, motions and depositions.

But where did the court reporting industry start? And more importantly, what are the origins of the equipment and shorthand systems used today around the world?

In order to track down the first official court reporter, one must go back to ancient time – 63 B.C. to be exact. It was in this year that a slave named Marcus Tullius Tiro, the property of the great Cicero became the world’s first shorthand reporter. Tiro first known transcription was of a speech by Cato. To help him copy every word of the speech accurately, Tiro used a series of shorthand notes and symbols. Tiro’s system was simple but groundbreaking. He used single symbols to represents full sentences, and did not record smaller, common words that he knew could be entered into the official record at a later time.

As a result of Tiro’s work, the art and science of stenography was born, and although most of the symbols he used are no longer with us, the ampersand (&) still exists and is a part of hundreds of languages around the world.

The John of Tilbury, a monk, developed the first english shorthand sometime around the year 1180. His system remained the standard in England until the 16th century when a doctor named Timothie Bright created a 500 character shorthand symbol system that would replace it.

Dr. Bright’s system was accepted throughout England until the year 1772 when it was replaced by a new shorthand system developed Thomas Gurney. Gurney worked for the government and his new, easy-to-use system of transcription and note-taking became the official shorthand of Parliament. The final switch in England’s shorthand system came in 1837 when Isaac Pittman developed a phonetics-based shorthand system that is still in use by many British court reporters today.

Across the pond, Gregg’s system was used in the courts of the United States until the invention of the shorthand machine later in the century. In 1879, a man by the name of Miles Bartholomew, who was part of what was already a growing number of professional court reports working in the American legal system, received a patent for what would become the modern typewriter. It had a single keystroke for each letter and would become a major tool of business in the decades that followed.

But for the purposes of modern court reporting, things needed to work more quickly. During the post-war era of the 1950′s the United States Military and IBM developed groundbreaking machines and software that would translate foreign languages directly into English. After this project was complete, the same team of engineers used this technology to create shorthand translation machines.

It was out of this technology that the modern shorthand machine, used today by tens of thousands of court reporters was born.

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National Shorthand Reporter magazine July 1974 issue for court reporters


National Shorthand Reporter magazine July 1974 issue for court reporters


$5.00


National Shorthand Reporter magazine May 1974 issue for court reporters


National Shorthand Reporter magazine May 1974 issue for court reporters


$5.00


Shorthand for Amanuensis, Court, and Verbatim Reporting...


Shorthand for Amanuensis, Court, and Verbatim Reporting…


$19.80


Chartier Shorthand for Amanuensis, Court, and Verbatim Reporting...


Chartier Shorthand for Amanuensis, Court, and Verbatim Reporting…


$20.40


Stenograph Reporter Short Hand Stenographer's court reporting machine VINTAGE


Stenograph Reporter Short Hand Stenographer’s court reporting machine VINTAGE


$19.95


Working Stenograph Secretarial Shorthand Machine Court Recorder vtg Nice


Working Stenograph Secretarial Shorthand Machine Court Recorder vtg Nice


$12.99


Antique Stenotype Stenograph Machine used as Court Shorthand


Antique Stenotype Stenograph Machine used as Court Shorthand


$25.00


Mastering Machine Shorthand - Court Reporting LIT Material for Accuracy - SALE!


Mastering Machine Shorthand – Court Reporting LIT Material for Accuracy – SALE!


$15.60


Stenograph Reporter Short Hand Stenographer's court reporting machine VINTAGE


Stenograph Reporter Short Hand Stenographer’s court reporting machine VINTAGE


$20.00


2010 Stentura Protege Court Reporting Stenograph Shorthand Machine


2010 Stentura Protege Court Reporting Stenograph Shorthand Machine


$250.00


Brief Encounters: A Dictionary for Court Reporting


Brief Encounters: A Dictionary for Court Reporting


$55.10


Book by Boucke, Laurie…

The Complete Court Reporter's Handbook (Prentice Hall Series in Computer Shorthand)


The Complete Court Reporter’s Handbook (Prentice Hall Series in Computer Shorthand)


$24.97


This practical guide presents all aspects of court reporting across a wide range of court and legal procedures. Packed with forms, sample written knowledge tests, and review questions, this book provides an excellent source of information about how court reporters function in the real world. Serving as a hands-on OHow toO reference on different aspects of Court Reporting, this important resource c…

Record Never Forgets: the History of Court Reporting and Shorthand


Record Never Forgets: the History of Court Reporting and Shorthand


$24.99


Shorthand, as a means of written communication, has been with us for centuries. Such diverse men as Julius Caesar, George Bernard Shaw, and Charles Dickens all used shorthand. The plays of William Shakespeare, the words of St. Augustine, the lectures of Martin Luther, and the Gettysburg Address were all captured by an alert reporter using shorthand techniques. No form of written communication has …

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